Community Engagement

Lego club fun; image courtesy Franklin Park Public Library (IL) on Flickr | cc-by-sa-2.0

Question of the Month

In 2016, we're looking forward to providing top-notch continuing education, and for our January poll, we're wondering: What community engagement program are you looking forward to most in 2016?

Take the poll »

Libraries are key to strong communities, and each community as a whole comprises many more and diverse groups. Getting to know those groups and individuals can strengthen both the library and the community, and create an encouraging atmosphere for lifelong learning and engagement.

Serving homeless youth, for example, is becoming a greater need across the United States. Read more about efforts by libraries on that front and how you might consider engaging with youth experiencing homelessness.

Later this month, WebJunction will host a free webinar Community Engagement: Serving Diverse Communities Where They Are, which will explore what it means to provide inclusive outreach to and engagement with members of your local community.

Stepping outside the library as a reference librarian was once taboo, but is now happening regularly. Our latest free WebJunction self-paced course presents exactly how you can reach out to your community with reference to learn more about the reference needs of your community and how your library can help provide answers.

Stay tuned as we at WebJunction highlight stories and examples of community engagement in the month of January!

Recent Articles on WebJunction

We feature new WebJunction articles on our homepage each week. Here are some of our most recent additions.

Serving Youth Experiencing Homelessness

Youth homelessness is increasing and teens who are homeless have a myriad of challenges to overcome. While the problem of teen homelessness is complicated, public libraries are finding ways to reach out and provide safe, positive programs as well as connect teens with services they need.

Serving Youth Experiencing Homelessness, image courtesy iStock

Librarians Leave "Fort Ref" and Reach Out with Reference

The role of reference is changing, and librarians at Douglas County Libraries in Colorado, United States, took an active approach to examining what reference could look like for their community. In the latest free WebJunction self-paced course, Leaving Fort Ref: Reaching Out with Reference, learn first-hand from these librarians and come away with new ideas and an action plan for your own library.

Librarians Leave "Fort Ref" and Reach Out with Reference

What Resolutions Will Make Your List in 2016?

As 2015 came to a close, we spent time reflecting on a great year of continuing education and looked forward to what is ahead. In 2015 we hosted 25 free webinars on a wide range of subjects, and added many new self-paced courses to our free, online course catalog. There is even more to come in 2016!

What Resolutions Will Make Your List in 2016?

Upcoming Webinars

To access all upcoming events and archives, go to the Events Calendar.


Thursday, January 21, 2016

Enhancing Your Library's Web Presence with WordPress

WordPress makes it easy for libraries of any size or budget to have a user-friendly web presence. Whether your library's website needs to be refreshed or rebuilt, this webinar will provide practical steps for creating, maintaining, and enhancing your website without technical expertise. Learn how the right WordPress template and plugins can help you provide your community with an informative and nimble website, 24/7.

3:00-4:00 pm Eastern Time


Thursday, January 28, 2016

Community Engagement: Serving Diverse Communities
Where They Are

In this interactive session, we will explore what it means to provide inclusive outreach to and engagement with members of your local community. How do you identify the needs of the diverse communities your library is serving? What are effective approaches for community engagement, and how do you apply what you learn along the way to improve your practice? Come prepared with a challenge or opportunity from your own community that you would like to workshop with your peers during the webinar. You will also leave with a framework and action plan for cultivating partnerships for successful community engagement.

3:00-4:00 pm Eastern Time


Additional Online Learning

WebJunction Course Catalog

Our Course Catalog is free and open to library staff everywhere. We offer library-specific self-paced courses, webinar archives, and other great learning materials. Certificates of Completion are available to help library staff meet CE and LEU credit requirements. Create your free account and start learning today.

Other Free Learning

Looking for more webinars and library learning opportunities? January's list of additional options is out and there are more than 60 free webinars available to library staff this month! These training opportunities are compiled and shared by Jamie Markus, Interim Wyoming State Librarian for the Wyoming State Library. Highlights in this month's webinar offerings include:

Drexel MSLIS Online - WebJunction Members

December Poll Results

In anticipation of the upcoming webinar Enhancing Your Library's Web Presence with WordPress, the December Crossroads poll reached out to understand a bit more about your library's website, who manages it, your plans for updates or a redesign and three things you'd like to change most. Nearly half of the respondents plan to update their library's website in 2016, and the responses for what they would change were varied and interesting. 

Read all the responses »

Join the Discussion

Library staff from around the world are sharing library news and resources in our satellite communities on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Join in!

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